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High Court orders interim – stay order on suspension of India News ratings by BARC

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High Court orders interim – stay order on suspension of India News ratings by BARC

BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) Week 46 ratings for Hindi News Channels did not include India News.  

The reasons for the non-inclusion of India News data in the ratings was said to be for ‘suspected malafide practices’ according to communication sent to BARC subscribers.    

Following this the channel took this matter of non- inclusion to the High Court, and in the latest development in this case, the High Court has ordered an interim – stay order on the suspension of India News ratings by BARC. 

“The honourable court has given an ad-interim order and we have no comment as the matter is still subjudice. We are confident about what we have done. We will continue to act as per our board and government guidelines, with the objective of providing the Indian broadcast industry with an accurate, robust and reliable television audience measurement system.” Said Partho Dasgupta CEO BARC reacting to this development."   

"In a statement, following the court order  Varun Kohli, CEO, India News, said, “India News is a credible news channel in the broadcasting business in the country and has grown consistently in the last four years both in the times of BARC ratings and TAM ratings, the predecessor of BARC. As a news channel, we uphold strong journalistic values and have established ourselves as a trustworthy and responsible media house in the country and have enjoyed unconditional support from all the stakeholders over the years. We are very confident that all the stakeholders and our well-wishers will continue to support us as they have done till now and we wish to work more closely with one and all.”

“In the circumstances I am prima facie satisfied that the order of suspension issued by the Defendant (BARC) is arbitrary and illegal, without following the procedure prescribed in clause 7 (e) of the Agreement. Though the Defendant claimed that 'conclusive evidence' was available with the Defendant, the same was not provided to the Plaintiff (I TV Pvt Ltd) depriving them the opportunity to deal with the same. Instead, without providing any evidence to the Plaintiff, the Defendant has not only suspended the ratings of the Defendant's channel but has immediately forwarded e- mails to their subscribers condemning the Plaintiff of 'suspected mala fide practices' thereby, prima facie, maligning their reputation.  The balance of convenience is overwhelmingly in favour of the Plaintiff and against the Defendant. Stated the court order sourced by exchange4media."

“The suspension order dated 24th November, 2016 is stayed and the Defendant is restrained from acting upon and/or implementing the same.  Needless to add that if at the stage of the hearing of the Notice of Motion, the Court holds that the Defendant has been able to prima facie establish the breach on the part of the Plaintiff (I TV Pvt Ltd) the Plaintiff will have to undergo the balance suspension period stayed by this order.” Stated the court order in conclusion. "

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